PRESENTED BY KAREN'S PRINT RITE
Former Waterloo Black Hawks defenseman Blake Hillman will join the Chicago Blackhawks for the remainder of the 2017/18 National Hockey League season after completing his college career at the University of Denver.
Chicago announced Tuesday that they had signed the 22-year-old to a contract extending through the end of 2018/19.
Waterloo acquired Hillman from the Dubuque Fighting Saints in 2014/15 during the closing months of the season. He completed his time in the USHL appearing in 13 games for Waterloo, recording seven assists and a +6 plus/minus margin. Two of Hillman’s three multipoint games in junior hockey came as a Black Hawk. His first assist for Waterloo came on the game-winning goal against his former team on March 13, 2015.
As a freshman in 2015/16, Hillman helped the Denver Pioneers to the Frozen Four and was recognized as the Most Outstanding Player of the West Regional. Denver won the National Championship during Hillman’s sophomore season, and he played in two more NCAA Tournament games this spring. Hillman finished his college career with 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) in 123 games.
Following his freshman year at Denver, Hillman was drafted by the Blackhawks during the sixth round (173rd overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft.
When the Elk River, Minnesota, native takes the ice for Chicago, he will join a group of eight other Waterloo alumni who have skated in at least one NHL game this season. That growing contingent includes Vinny Hinostroza, who is in his second year with the Blackhawks and currently is tied for the team’s top plus/minus honors (+6) in 45 appearances. Hillman’s former Waterloo teammate Brock Boeser has also skated in the NHL this season with the Vancouver Canucks.
Chicago’s next game is Thursday versus the Winnipeg Jets.
The current crop of Waterloo Black Hawks play the first of seven remaining regular season games Friday on the road against the Sioux Falls Stampede. Waterloo’s next home game is against Hillman’s other former USHL team, the Fighting Saints, Saturday beginning at 7:05. For tickets, click here or call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.
Visit Karen’s Print Rite at 2515 Falls Avenue in Waterloo or online at karensprintrite.com.